This is going to be highly condensed as these two topics could (and have) filled several books and also you’ve probably gathered I’m not a real expert so I’m gleaning information about what should work, although I do know things that do work as well and I will cover those things here.
To build a list you MUST have an autoresponder of some sort, whether self hosted, free or paid. There is no other sensible way of keeping a large (or even small) list of email addresses and be able to contact them on a regular basis. At the autoresponder you should have one or more segments to your total list so that you know which niche different subscribers came from. Even at my low subscriber count I have 12 segments (GetResponse call them campaigns), 2 each for 3 membership sites (subscribers & buyers) , 1 is a general purpose catch all that I started with before I learned about segmenting and the other 5 for various products I’ve supported or launched. They all have a series of auto-response emails going out at 1 or 2 day intervals and I can broadcast to any or all campaigns as I wish.
To fill your autoresponder with eager freebie seekers you need a squeeze page. The link at the top of this page will allow you to download a free template which is NOT a WordPress plugin. I put my squeeze pages into a separate folder from the main site like… http://www.stevenlucasmarketing.com/sm-ccc/index.html (You’ll also notice that this link gives away a free product creation ebook and if you sign up and also offers a $97 product from a top name in product creation.) Feel free to use this squeeze page template, changing words and graphics as you require. If you’re not sure how to do this, you’re going to have to look for another article from me, another day.
As an aside at this point – consider adding a signup form to your blog somewhere, even at the end of each post. You’ll probably get some quality sign ups from this.
This is going to be the bit that everybody wants to read, but, it’s not going to be much different to what Alex teaches plus a few bits I’ve picked up.
The first thing is by blog commenting. If you have a product or freebie you want to launch, write a blog article for your own site describing your freebie (not in detail, of course) with links to your squeeze page, then you can quite happily ‘deep link’ to your post in comments on other people’s sites without being accused of spamming. Same on social sites – it’s easy to say, “Come a read my new blog post” with a link to your blog, rather than “come and sign up to this list” or “come and grab this freebie” with direct links to your squeeze.
AdWords and other targeted paid ads can get expensive without experience so are best avoided until you can take proper training. If you’re an expert already then you’ll know it can go horribly wrong as well as being terrifically good.
Safelists will fill your lists with freebie seekers. Safelists are mostly full of people trying to market on the cheap so all you’ll probably get are freebie seekers. You might get something out of them, but don’t expect a great deal of success. The open rate of emails is quite poor as well so make sure any safelist you pick is offering a credit scheme for click throughs. This is where someone who clicks a link in the safelist mail gets a number of credits for sending their own email. You can spend YOUR time clicking through or you can buy sending credits.
Click for click traffic (traffic exchanges). This can either be free or paid. If you have no money and you do have time and patience you can trade your time for clicks, so you view other people’s sites and they will view yours. If you have money you can buy the clicks to save you from clicking your life away. Again they’ll mostly be freebie seekers and other marketers but you’ll also see bored housewives who think they’re working from home. If your product actually targets this sort of person then you could score big time.
The big solid, reliable traffic source, especially for freebie seekers who will become buyers is solo ads. The best source of these is Safe-Swaps. Safe-Swaps are a broker for many solo ad dealers as well as seekers. Check to see who is the most reliable (customers rate the suppliers) and pick someone you like the look of. Clicks cost between $0.20 and $1 a click. Higher prices normally mean a higher proportion of Tier 1 countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia) although lower prices may just mean someone who is trying to establish a reputation. Ask questions before buying if you want to and don’t necessarily go with the cheapest because they’re cheap. Also buy in small batches – say 50 to 200. Suppliers always over-deliver the number of clicks you buy, so if you buy 100 clicks you will probably get 120 (20% over delivery). If you bought 1000 at once, from one supplier you might get 1100 (10% over delivery), so the moral of the story here is buy a lot of small bunches of clicks rather than one big one.
One other thing is that most solo ad providers will only send to freebie offering squeeze pages and not directly to affiliate links or paid offers. Check before sending.
Once you have a decent sized list of your own – 500+ subscribers, you’ll be able to offer people a solo to your list either for money or as an ad-swap, where marketers with similar sized lists send an offer to each other’s lists. This works quite well if both lists are in the same or similar niches, so do check first.
There is also click-banking where one of you agrees to send an offer to your list and later on the other sends and offer to theirs. This is good for people with dissimilar sized lists as someone with a 1500 name list can send one offer on behalf of someone who only has a 500 name list. The large list owner can then send 3 different offers (banked over time) to the small list.
When sending solo ads or offering them, remember to allow for the over-delivery. You cannot offer 500 clicks from a list of 500 subscribers. Best to offer only 100 – 150 at most and only offer one sending per day otherwise you’ll have your list unsubscribing so fast you won’t believe it!
There’s a lot more to this squeeze page and traffic lark and there are people far more expert than I (but I will get there). I hope this has been useful to you. Please comment below, especially if you feel there’s something left out or something more I could say.